Document Type


Publication Date



The essay singles out The Jackie Robinson Story, as an iconophiliac adaptation driven by the authorizing and authenticating presence of Robinson's body on screen, which functions as both the ‘source material’ and its ‘adaptation’. It argues that the film needs to be appreciated within a larger nexus of texts indicated as ‘The Jackie Robinson Story,’ revealing a larger process of embodiment of the integration drama grafted onto Robinson’s body-image in the years preceding and following the release of the film. Read in the context of Robinson’s presence in post World War II visual culture as emblem of the successful realization of its color blind utopias, ‘The Jackie Robinson Story’ appears to participate in the process of visual accommodation that brought the assimilationist imagination to elect Robinson’s body as the signifier of yet another adaptation process: the incarnated visuality of the integration drama itself.


The version of record of this article is published as: Raengo, A. (2008). A Necessary Signifier: The Body as Author and Text in The Jackie Robinson Story. Adaptation. Journal of Literature on Screen Studies, 1(2), 79-105. DOI: 10.1093/adaptation/apn019

Copyright © 2008 Alessandra Raengo. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

The author's post-print (post-peer-reviewed) manuscript is posted here with the permission of the author.

Included in

Communication Commons